This season has become a recurring nightmare for Chicago Blackhawks fans. The team has been rolling out the same formula night in and night out. The keys to the formula are get outplayed 5-on-5, commit costly defensive turnovers and never take a lead. This formula has added another loss to the Blackhawks’ record, which is now 0–5–1.
In addition to losing their fifth game of the season, the Blackhawks saw a streak end and extended another. During the game, Blackhawks CEO Danny Wirtz announced that the Blackhawks’ home sell-out streak ended at 535 games with a paid attendance of 19,042. In addition to losing their sell-out streak, the franchise also set another record tonight. The Blackhawks have officially gone the longest time without a lead to start a season in NHL history. They surpassed the 2000–01 Washington Capitals for this dubious record.
In the first period, defenseman Calvin de Haan committed a costly turnover deep in his own end. De Haan tried clearing the puck up the boards to his defensive partner and instead gifted a puck to the Red Wings’ Tyler Bertuzzi. Bertuzzi found 19-year-old Calder Trophy candidate Lucas Raymond for the goal.
The Blackhawks answered the Raymond goal with a goal of their own. Newly acquired Tyler Johnson received a pass from Jonathan Toews in the neutral zone. Johnson lowered his head and drove to the net to stuff the goal home five-hole on Alex Nedeljkovic.
Later in the period, Blackhawks defenseman Erik Gustafsson was caught out of position after an ill-advised pinch in the offensive zone. The Gustafsson gaffe lead to a 3-on-1 chance for Red Wings. Marc-Andre Fleury stopped the first chance from Mitchell Stephens but was not able to stop the rebound attempt from Vladislav Namestnikov. The Red Wings regained the lead and never relinquished it.
In a comedy of errors, the Blackhawks’ Reese Johnson kicked the puck into his own net on back check attempt. After a lengthy review, the goal counted and Bertuzzi was given credit for the tally.
In the second period, Dylan Strome drew a two-minute penalty after he was cross-checked in the back by the Red Wings’ Marc Staal. On the power play, Toews fed a pass to Seth Jones, who then found Dominik Kubalik, who blasted a shot past Nedeljkovic to cut the lead in half.
In the final minute of the second period, Dylan Larkin of the Red Wings pressed the attack and had his shot hit the outside of the net, but luckily for Detroit, Raymond was able to corral the rebound and stuff it home for the fifth Red Wings goal of the game.
In the third period, the Blackhawks came out with a sense of aggression and desperation in their game. Sadly, the Blackhawks’ new intensity did nothing to change the outcome of the game. Strome fired a shot from the point, which deflected off a Red Wings defenseman into the reach of Henrik Borgstrom. Borgstrom tapped the puck in to give the Blackhawks their third goal of the game and cut the lead back to two goals for Detroit.
With under seven minutes remaining in the contest, following a four-minute minor on Strome for high sticking, Raymond capped off his night with his third goal of the game for his first career NHL hat trick.
When the final horn sounded, the Blackhawks fell to the Red Wings 6–3 and were yet again booed off their own ice.
Whether the front office wants to realize this or not, the Blackhawks are in a desperate need of a change of leadership on the ice. In addition to being booed off their own ice at the end of the game, there were also audible chants of “Fire Colliton” in the building during the game.
There’s a “Fire Colliton” chant in the United Center now.
— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) October 25, 2021
The @NHLBlackhawks need major changes now. This is pathetic.
— Bucci Mane (@Buccigross) October 25, 2021
After an offseason filled with excitement and player additions, this team looks exactly the same as it has for the last four seasons under Colliton. After taking over for Joel Quennevile, the Blackhawks did not win a game for eight starts. The current winless streak is at six games and counting.
When will this one end?